17" or 15" macbook pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by karohan, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. karohan macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2010
    I am debating between a 17" or 15" macbook pro for college. The 1920x1200 res on the 17" looks pretty enticing, but I'm mainly concerned about the battery life and heat dissipation between the two. Does the 17" suffer from worse battery life (in the real world, not what apple has advertised) and does the 17" run cooler or at least feel cooler to touch because there is more room for the components?
  2. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    I would go for the 15". The 17" has loud speakers and a better screen estate, but the 15" would be great, since the HR would help make more room on your screen and the battery should be just as good or better than the 17". That's just my 2 cents :]
  3. saxon48 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2010
    With last year's MBP models, I had the same debate between 15" and 17" (albeit without the additional screen options.)

    Almost a year later, I love my 15". The battery is phenomenal. In all honesty, looking back, I realized that I didn't really need the extra power of the 17" for what I do in school. :cool:
  4. karohan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2010
    Oh, the speakers are louder? How so? Though it shouldn't matter, since I'll have externals anyway.

    And, how about heat? I've heard heat being a minor issue with the 15" and it's not a dealbreaker by any means but if the heat is better with the 17" I might opt for that. Especially b/c I don't mind the 17" portability-wise.
  5. runebinder macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2009
    Nottingham, UK
    If you're happy with the 17" portability wise, I'd say go for that, you'll get a higher res screen, the battery is larger while running the same components so should get more life, and there will be more space for airflow so should help on the component wise.

    What are you planning on using it for? That will make a big difference heat wise. My 15" runs around the mid 30s doing normal browsing and office apps, for watching films around the 50 mark and then if I'm gaming it will head into the 80s, so use SMC fan control to whack the fans up before launching any games. Battery wise I get around 7 hours for browsing and office app use.

    Also where you live should be taken into consideration, the hotter the climate the hotter the MBP will be.
  6. karohan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2010
    It'll be for college so yes browsing/editing word documents will be a good chunk of the work I do, but at the same time, I will dabble in more intensive things such as photo/video editing and stuff like that. If I rev up the fans, how low can you control the temperature?

    I do not really intend to game on it either. Maybe a few flash games here and there, but I'm more of a console gamer.
  7. alriley macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2010
    The reason I eventually chose 17" was because it has the ExpressCard 34 port. This can open up a world of connectivity, for me I use a soundcard that connects via FW 400.

    I was slightly worried that the machine was going to seem too big but it's perfect.
  8. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm still kind of shocked that Apple deleted the EC slot from the 15" models in favor of an SD card slot.

    But then again, EC slot users probably represent the minority of 15" MBP buyers, so...
  9. tim100 macrumors 65816

    May 25, 2009
  10. Rithem macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2008
    I have a 15" and I love it. I got the high end so it's really nice. Also the desks at my school are a bit small and my 15" barely fits on it.
  11. armadiljo macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2010
    I asked me the same question (about 15 months ago) and I chose the 15".

    -> uses (at that resolution) more power for the bigger display, and has some more capacity, so that doesn't expand (in my logic, I can't prove it) the battery life.
    -> 1920x1200 is great and quite a lot, so that's great.

    -> apparently it's (more than) enough for me @ 1440 x 900. I do have a bigger (external) screen to have more display-space, but I hardly use it.
    -> it fit's better in about every bag. With a 17", I should buy some new bags.
    -> cheaper

    (I'm a photographer, so I do use it partially in the same way as you will)
  12. pinsrw macrumors regular

    May 30, 2010
    I was considering these too, but decided on the 13" MBP because

    1. It is more portable
    2. Battery life is better
    3. Some of the i5/i7 processors have been freezing up (true of Apple, Lenovo and other manufacturers' laptops)
    4. I can save the difference and put that money toward an HDTV.
    5. The 2.4 GHz C2D is really fast enough.
    6. The high-DPI monitors don't really look that great.
    7. The 13" MBP is on sale for $999 right now at microcenter.
    8. The color gamut test results that I saw for the 17" didn't look so hot (a personal concern for me).
  13. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'd go for the 15" for these reasons:

    •More portable
    •Higher res

    The battery life should be the same on both laptops. Not sure about how much heat either of them put out. But both should run quite cool, since my 13" MBP handles fine under heavy loads :D

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